As a contribution to this new main thread, I’m starting this sub thread to share and gather some information and opinions about mastering processes digital and analog and maybe also some good examples in terms of available masterings.
I learned a lot recently. Initially it started with an answer from Ted when at my very beginning here, while not having a general and only vinyl preference but also cherishing digital, I posted my experience when comparing digital to vinyl (with few more exceptions mostly more or less pro vinyl). I paid much attention to selecting recordings that were mastered in parallel for vinyl and SACD by the same several well rewarded mastering engineers.
(Besides this, in many cases vinyl to me sounded superior in case of better and different masterings than available on digital media, but that’s not the topic here, here I took care of choosing the same masterings.)
At this time Ted already mentioned, although choosing same masterings, I possibly still compare masterings, not concepts. I thought I could not have paid more attention to selecting the least mastering differences possible. Which was true. But what I didn’t know at the time was, that even then, there seem to be noticeable sound quality differences in the mastering and production processes for vinyl in comparison to those for digital media (pro vinyl, in spite of its other limitations). This and other aspects were made clear in an interview Paul made with mastering legend Bernie Grundman. You can listen to it here: https://www.psaudio.com/podcast/bernie-grundman/. Start at about 19 min for that matter if you don’t want to hear the whole thing.
Another mastering legend, Steve Hoffman, (only marginally) mentioned such differences, too (and a general tendency to vinyl preference) within this thread ( http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/new-analogue-productions-nat-king-cole-vinyl-mixing-directly-to-45-rpm-lacquer-adventures.184804/ ) and several others within his forum like on this page ( http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/aaa-vinyl-or-digital-transfer-of-the-mastertape-which-would-you-prefer.513242/page-10 ) or on this etc. etc. ( http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/recording-and-mastering-questions-answered-here-any-more.78628/page-24 ), while within this thread he compared master to tape, SACD, Vinyl and CD with similar results ( http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/what-sounds-just-like-the-master-tape-cd-vinyl-sacd-or-a-1-1-analog-reel-tape-copy.133328/ ).
Kevin Gray, another mastering legend, besides having been involved together with Steve Hoffman in above mentioned and many other such masterings for SACD, CD and vinyl commented to myself, that he usually tries to surpass SACD masterings (especially when he only does the vinyl part) with his vinyl masterings and is aware, such comparisons are done.
Greg Calbi and others at Sterling sound are some, who also provide among the best masterings available for SACD and vinyl as they reside in neighborhood of the master vaults. Many masterings I compared SACD/vinyl. What’s written on their page also points to a certain special aspect of vinyl mastering processes ( http://sterling-sound.com/mastering/vinyl/ ).
When searching for some opinions of two other of the best mastering engineers, Doug Sax and Bob Ludwig, who also mastered for digital as well as vinyl, I didn’t find suited interviews, instead a silly, skin-deep and slightly embarrassing performance pro vinyl together with Michael Fremer ( http://www.soundgirls.org/mastering-vinyl/ ) with Fremer showing how to put a record out of its sleeve. Only the fact that they participated in such an event and to confirmed such skin-deep opinions pro vinyl made me think, they probably have the same preference.
From an interview I know a clear preference for vinyl mastering from the boss of Acousence and few less well known, who do digital and analog, too.
Labels like 2xHD intentionally use lots of analog processes for their hires digital media to get best results. (which to me doesn’t mean, they make the best digital recordings).
All in all it seems nearly every one of the famous engineers I know, who seriously do both, mastering for vinyl and digital, has a certain preference for vinyl and probably a similar opinion about the influencing aspects of the analog and vinyl mastering process, while and in spite of knowing vinyl’s limitations.
Certainly among digital only mastering engineers, but probably also among those seriously doing both, there will be further different and more differentiated opinions on that. Just what I always saw as a pure personal preference, seems to have more background aside of and prior to the playback device of a Streamer/DAC/Record player.
Would be happy if others find more info about this topic or opinions of professionals who master both with similar effort and dedication. I think it’s less interesting to see typical one-sided opinions of those who have singular interests or experiences.